For some time, I’ve been trying to figure out how I could incorporate a little splash of technology into the artistic process with minimal tech tools at hand in our very traditional art room. I’ve been hearing some grumbling about drawing and I was searching for something to bring a new spark to the drawing process and alleviate the tendency to strive for perfection which will dramatically slow the creative process to a halt. Over the last month, as students have been creating storyboards about everything from the 5th-grade epic adventures chronicling their aspirations and adventures as 10 and 11-year-olds, to the 4th-grade character sketches that incorporate outlandish settings, action and storylines, I have been learning how to make GIFs.
A GIF? A what? Yes, we are becoming part of the social media pop culture movement in creating GIF animations (Graphics Interchange Format). They are easy to share and prove to be opening creative doors for my students to explore ideas and learn about animation. They’ve been around since 1987 and have quite a history.
Want to make your own GIFs? You can download a number of free apps but the one we’ve been working our GIF magic with is called GIF Mob Animation Camera or Animation Camera Animated GIF. Not sure why it has two names, but hey it’s free. There are others too that offer different functions. If you’re interested, just search animation camera in the app store on your device. You could also try searching stop motion camera because essentially this is what you’re doing when you’re creating a GIF by taking a series of still photos and making them move.
I’ve been working with my students in small groups using one device for the animations while they work on creating cutouts or clay figures to animate. Soon we will have a few more devices and the GIF making will be turned over to the students!
Check out our GIF Gallery and see more on Twitter @catieramsey #ktmartists!